PERSPECTIVES:  A Glimpse Inside the Re-Vitalized Toy Association of Southern California (TASC)

August 23, 2011 | Peter Wachtel, Chief Creative KID/Owner & President @ KID Toyology and President of the Toy Association of Southern California (TASC), recently spoke with TIA editors and offered the following thoughts on the resurgence of TASC, its activities and what’s in store for the organization.

 Did You Know?

Collectively, toy companies, retailers, wholesalers and distributors account for an estimated 85,430 jobs in California, business taxes in excess of $1.1 Billion and a total economic impact of more than $15.8 Billion.

The Toy Association of Southern California (TASC) is actually 15 years old, but within the past few years the Association has gained new relevance as toy businesses in the area have expanded and the industry as a whole has had a greater impact on the state’s economy.   As California – especially the southern part of the state – became home to so many members of our community, the need for a strong and organized West Coast presence became even more important.

TASC’s goals have expanded over time to keep pace with changing needs.  Today, our overall mission is to connect toy manufacturers, distributors, sales and marketing executives and designers and inventors in southern California and provide them with important information to help them grow their businesses. 

Basically, if you have something to do with toys and you’re in southern California, TASC is a great group to be a part of.    We are working to broaden our members’ knowledge of the toy industry, to mentor companies of all sizes on the different aspects of the industry, and to help grow the industry in terms of revenue and the creation of new companies and jobs. 

The toy industry has a great story to tell.  And we want to make the public more aware of the great contributions made by our industry:  from foundations and charity to great creativity and innovation in design.  We want people to associate toys with fun!

We are proud to work in partnership with groups like the Toy Industry Association (TIA) and Women in Toys (WIT) to accomplish these goals.  On October 27th, for example, TASC and WIT are teaming up to hold an educational and networking event at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles that will provide toy industry stakeholders with information about selling toys in a tough economy and reaching new markets through social media.  TIA’s president and WIT’s president will each be on our panel of speakers.

The “Toy Trends and Social Networking” program in October will arm both large and small companies with new ideas and strategies to navigate through tough economic times.   This event, and others like it, is designed to help companies run things more smoothly, no matter what size toy company you are – from Mom and Pop Stores to Fortune 500 companies.  The toy industry is like a big family, and we’re all battling the same issues.  It’s neat to come together at an event like this and see people from every walk of life and every level of employment – from a designer all the way up to the president of a company – all mingling together.  Some really fantastic ideas and strategies are bound to come out of that interaction.

Whether you are local or just visiting LA in late October, we invite everyone to attend, mingle and learn!

“Toy Trends and Social Networking” will take place Thursday, October 27th from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Speakers include Carter Keithley (President, Toy Industry Association), Suzanna Mills-Winkler (President, Dynamic Designworks Inc.), Victoria Cushey (VP, Marketing and Business Development at Dynamic Designworks Inc) and Joan Luks (President, WIT). The event is $25 for members of TASC, WIT and TIA and $50 for non-members. Refreshments and hors d’oeuvres will be served. For more information and to register, please contact Yvette Nunez (212-763-2520 ext. 227).